One of the first strategies I recommend to everyone I come into contact with is to start building a list they can begin emailing to. This usually demands a fundamental change in their initial approach to their prospects, clients, and customers.
The aim is to begin the relationship by giving – and then to maximise profits by email-marketing to them, realising our profits over time. This is in direct contrast with the traditional strategy whereby the aim is simply to make a sale right off the bat.
The question now is how do we make best use of our email list, other than simply mailing them more often (which is obvious, but still worth mentioning because it’s virtually certain you aren’t emailing YOUR list often enough).
The key is segmentation. It’s actually easier and more straightforward than it seems, but it does demand you do a little bit more work than simply writing emails and sending them.
When you send an offer to your list you’ll come to know in advance approximately what kind of response you’re going to get. That’s the whole point of doing direct response marketing in the first place.
But what’s not immediately obvious is the 80/20 rule is going to apply: over time you’re going to find the same names keep cropping up, responding to your offers.
Roughly 80% of your sales are going to come from just 20% of your list. What’s more you’re going to find a percentage of these 20% are going to be hyper-responders; that is, they’ll buy the de-luxe version of everything you sell, every time you ask.
This point is crucial: because it’s like they’re waiting to give you money but won’t do it unless you ask them to!
So your first job is to identify these people. It’s not hard and there are several ways you can do it:
Manually tick off names against shipped orders. Only really feasible for small numbers and physically-shipped items.
Use spreadsheets and do some fancy work with data sorting. This is often going to be the easiest way to do it in the short term.
Use the facilities in your email autoresponder to track clicks within the messages. This is useful when it works, but be aware the presence of these links themselves can themselves affect response. So test (as always!).
Now, assuming you have the data, what you’re looking for are those top 20% and the real cream, those incredibly profitable hyper-responders.
Once you’ve identified them, you put them into a new email list, one which you keep exclusively for these highly-profitable names, and then start marketing to it with specially designed high-price offers exclusive to that group only.
What’s more, you should tell them they’re in this special group, and why. People love to belong, and once you’ve given them an elevated status, most of them will work to keep it – by giving you even more money.
By doing this you’ll not only make maximum profits, but you’ll also gather around you a loyal group of raving “fans”.